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Byron Scott wants Lakers' defense to improve against Warriors

Byron Scott wants Lakers' defense to improve against Warriors
Lakers Coach Byron Scott smiles while attending the team's media day in El Segundo on Sept. 29. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Lakers play their second preseason game on Thursday night, hosting the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.

Coach Byron Scott is hoping to see his team improve defensively, after opening the preseason with a 98-95 win over the Denver Nuggets on Monday.

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"[We need to be] better on the defensive end. That's the whole emphasis for this whole preseason, is just each game get better on that end of the floor, not make as many mistakes, do a better job of covering pick and roll," Scott said after practice on Wednesday. "It's just the little things that we need to continue to clean up."

The Lakers held the Nuggets to 38.7% shooting from the field, but sent the team to the free-throw line 44 times.

Scott also noted that he'll take a deeper look at his roster on Thursday.

"There's a few guys who didn't play last game who will play tomorrow," he said. "Ronnie [Price] will play tomorrow."

Price has had a strong training camp, but Scott stuck with point guards Steve Nash and Jeremy Lin on Monday.

Ryan Kelly (hamstring), Xavier Henry (back) and Nick Young (thumb) won't play. Wesley Johnson, who suffered a minor knee injury against the Nuggets, said he expects to be available Thursday.

Other Lakers who didn't play in the team's first exhibition include Jeremy Tyler and rookies Keith Appling, Roscoe Smith and Jabari Brown.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus

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